On Wednesday night the Champions League quarter-finals continued with some of the biggest teams in the world on display. It was a dramatic night of football that has made us look forward to the second legs next week.
From Ajax holding to Juventus and putting on a brave performance to Manchester United losing to Barcelona but not without a strong showing.
United vs Barcelona
In what was a huge night at Old Trafford, Manchester United suffered defeat to Barcelona that many expected. However, most would also have expected Barcelona to dominate the game especially since United have been playing every game on the back foot. But that was not the case. Despite United going behind early after Luis Suarez headed a ball across the box that deflected off of Luke Shaw which was deemed an own goal. The goal seemed to have brought the United side to life as they played as the aggressive team for the rest of the game.
Barcelona were far from their best, so this was United’s best chance to take advantage, but the Red Devils just couldn’t do it. They dominated the game but never created any clear cut chances, having not registered a single shot on target. The best chance that they had occurred when Diogo Dalot had an open header but failed to direct it on target. United can be commended for their well-structured defence because they manage to keep Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi quiet. The little maestro was not able to do any of his usual dazzling runs and passes for majority of the game.
Two players that can be praised after the game are the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay. Especially the teenage McTominay who played with extreme maturity and dominated a midfield that had the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in it. For the next week fans will be praying that the Red Devils can pull off another miracle win away from home which is going to be their hardest challenge yet since the Camp Nou is a fortress.
Ajax vs Juventus
In what was a hotly and tightly contested affair both Ajax and Juventus can be happy with the result. Ajax went down on the stroke of halftime thanks to the forever reliable Cristiano Ronaldo. But as the second half began David Neres went on a marvellous run and slotted the ball home with a spectacular finish. Juventus are in a more comfortable position because they got their away goal and can afford a goalless draw in Turin. Which is easily achievable with how strong their defence has been at home.
The Ronaldo Factor
If there’s anything we can take away from Wednesday night’s game it is that if you have Ronaldo in your team you stand a high chance of winning the Champions League. He has just proved once again that he is the king of the Champions League and could be going for his fourth in a row. He is also the highest scorer in the competition by far and is followed by Messi. Having Ronaldo has also proved dangerous for Juventus, having the phenomenon has meant that the team appear to be doing less and less every game which could’ve cost them in their last few games. They should arguably have been behind by two goals or more if it weren’t for a few brilliant saves by their keeper Wojciech Szczęsny.
Nevertheless we should all be looking forward to the second legs of both games which has the promise of being incredible games. If it its anything like the first legs it will certainly be some entertaining football. At this point any team is still in with a shout of winning and going all the way.